Experimenting With Coursera Specializations

Learning is one of my main passion in life and although challenging myself has been something I’ve struggled with in the past, I’m learning to embrace it.

So I’ve been starting courses on Coursera, Udemy, Udacity, edX and Pluralsight that not only grant me new skills, but also take me out of my comfort zone and into new territory.

Note: highlighting is not a good learning method

Something I wondered about, was the specialization routes on Coursera. They offer a 7 day trial to follow a course in pursuit of a certificate at the end of it, and then a monthly fee to keep it active until you’ve passed the course. So the challenge is to complete the course in 7 days or pay a subscription fee.

Now, if you think back to last weekend, I attempted to cram 3 months of studying into 2 days and it didn’t quite work. It definitely brought me value as I learned some industry best practices for using Excel in analysis, but I had a lot of pre-existing experience that let me sail through much of the content.

So starting and finishing a 3 month specialization in 2 days is probably not realistic.

But you can still audit the courses for free, and even though you can’t submit your answers for the assessments, you can leave them there saved, which led me to my current plan.

How about auditing the courses until you’ve completed all the quizzes and then enroll and submit everything in one day?

A little bit sneaky yes, but it’s an interesting experiment.

Unfortunately, the course I wanted to try this out on has a start date for its final course in June, so it’ll be a while before I can try it out on that one!

For now I decided to experiment with the promise that when you complete the course, the subscription from enrolling will be cancelled. This should mean that if I can finish a course within 7 days, I shouldn’t be charged at all.

The course I chose is (drum roll): Excel Skills for Business!

Choosing this course may seem like a cheap option, but I only wanted to test out the claim that the subscription would be cancelled, so it shouldn’t matter too much if I take an easy one!

But there have been real benefits already, I’ve learned some stuff from the very basic beginning of the course that I didn’t actually know about Excel before; having been self-taught, there were a lot of basics I just missed out on!

And the overall benefit at the end will be that I have some legitimate proof of having business ready Excel skills, which is something I’ve been thinking about since getting my PRINCE2 Foundation certificate in December.

Check out my progress so far, Advanced Skills complete, just need to finish Essentials and Intermediate I and II now (yes I did the last part first).


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